by Cathy Vartuli
We all have trouble sleeping sometimes. When you’re stressed or in pain (emotional or physical) it can be difficult to get the rest you desperately want… the rest your body is begging for. When you’re exhausted, it seems impossible to raise your vibration and feel just “okay” … and forget feeling joyful!
What do you do?
You can start by getting more present. When you’re short on sleep, it’s very easy to focus on future worries (I have that meeting at 8am, how am I ever going to make it), or the past (I knew I shouldn’t have had that coffee this afternoon, but I was so tired!). Being in the NOW helps quiet those voices and can help calm your body.
If you can, go someplace quiet, turn down the lights if that feels safe, and do some gentle tapping. Start by stating the truth, which can be a powerful way to be more present and grounded. Of course, feel free to change these words to fit your situation.
Karate Chop: Even though I am tense and anxious, I am actually safe right now.
I am tired and I want to sleep, that’s the truth.
I’m feeling frustrated and angry because I can’t sleep, and I am open to accepting myself anyway, right here, right now.
Top of the Head: I am tired…
Eyebrow: and I’m afraid I won’t be able to sleep.
Side of the Eye: I feel anxious!
Under the Eye: I feel tense and frustrated.
Under the Nose: Even though I have these feelings…
Chin: I am actually pretty safe.
Collarbone: Maybe I can accept myself just as I am.
Under the Arm: Even though part of me doesn’t want to sleep.
Top of the Head: Part of me is on guard.
Eyebrow: I’m glad that part of me cares about me.
Side of the Eye: And I ask it to notice that there isn’t a danger in this room right now.
Under the Eye: I am really tired,
Under the Nose: and I’d like to rest.
Chin: I am open to releasing this tension,
Collarbone: and really accepting myself.
Under the Arm: I’m okay just as I am.
Top of the Head: And it may be okay to sleep.
Take a deep breath and notice what came up when you said, “And it may be okay to sleep.”
Is there a inner voice arguing with you? Pay attention to what the inner voice is saying about why it isn’t safe to sleep. Tapping on those reasons now, or later with a tapping buddy or coach, may change the way you feel about sleep.
You may also find this breathing exercise on Thriving Now helpful.
Once you’re in bed, you can do a bit more to help yourself relax. Instead of tapping (which can sometimes be invigorating rather than restful), just touch your fingers to each point gently and take a breath while you lie in bed. And repeat phrases like this to help yourself relax and sleep well:
Karate Chop: Even though I am feeling stressed and nervous, and I have so much on my plate, it is safe to rest now and recover from my day.
Even though my body is tense and doesn’t know how to let go, I send it warm loving thoughts and let it know that I am safe right now.
Even though my mind won’t shut down, I thank it for all it has done for me today, and I offer it comfort and a time to be quiet.
Top of the Head: I am safe right now.
Eyebrow: I can let this go.
Side of the Eye: I can rest in this bed.
Under the Eye: These pillows are soft.
Under the Nose: The blankets are cozy.
Chin: It is okay to relax.
Collarbone: I release my tension.
Under the Arm: I am safe.
Top of the Head: I can allow myself to sleep deeply,
Eyebrow: all through the night.
Side of the Eye: It is okay to rest.
Under the Eye: I thank my body and my mind…
Under the Nose: for all they have done for me today.
Chin: I ask my body to relax.
Collarbone: I am ready to sleep…
Under the Arm: to rest…
Top of the Head: and feel safe.